What kind of SMS scams are being sent?

In Australia, we’re seeing all sorts of scam messages being sent, including those from fake:

You might be asked to check your credit card details by clicking on a link. You may receive a fake myGov message, asking you to check on your tax return, debt, or refund. 

You’re sent an emotional plea or invited to win a prize.

You might receive a message with a short story, inviting you to use a telephone number, or to click on a link, or to supply information such as a tax file number. 

There may be an emotional plea associated with the messages. For example, someone is poverty stricken, unwell or seeking a relationship. Or, you might be invited to enter a competition to win a prize. 

You’re asked to upload photographs for money

You might even be asked to upload photograph images in return for a payment. By clicking on a link, you may, without knowing it, sign up to a costly subscription service, or download malicious software. 

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Always be wary

If you dial a telephone number or click on the link within a message from an unknown sender, then you may supply enough information for the scammer to use your identity to defraud you. Or the scammer could defraud others, by pretending to be you.

Check out these simple dos and don’ts.



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Frequently asked questions

  • Who’s behind these SMS scams?

    Scammers can be convincing fraudsters and can be either: 

    - Individuals, acting alone or: 

    - Members of large, sophisticated, global enterprises. 


    Regardless of their size, scammers set out to deliberately mislead someone into: 

    - Handing over money. 

    - Divulging bank account details, or 

    - Sharing sensitive personal information. 


  • How do I block these unwanted messages?

    It’s easy to filter messages from unknown senders on your phone. Just follow the instructions on the links below. 

    Got an iPhone? Here’s all the info you need here.

    Got an Android? Get started with this article

  • How can I stay safe?

    It’s a good idea to be wary about any text message you receive that asks you to: 

    - Call a number you don't know. 

    - Click on a link you haven’t seen before. 

    - Contact someone who you don't know. 

    - Send an image to an unknown message sender. 



See Scamwatch for more info

Scamwatch.gov.au is an authentic and helpful place for scam information. You can also sign up to get regular email alerts about scams targeting consumers.